Most personal injury County Court cases are placed on the small claims track, where the procedure for handling them differs in a number of ways form other small claims court cases. Depending on the amount of compensation that is claimed for, it will either necessitate the need for a solicitor or simply the need for legal advice.
For a personal injury claim to be placed on the small claims track, it only needs to have a financial value of £1,000, instead of the usual £5,000.
Personal injury is the legal term for any harm that is caused to a person’s mind, body or emotional state. Its modern legal usage, and the basis of most personal injury County Court cases, is with regards to injury caused by the negligent or reckless actions of others.
The most common types of personal Injury County Court case are:
- road traffic accidents
- injuries obtained through accidents in the workplace
- slips, trips and falls
- product liability claims
- personal injury that occurs on holiday.
It is always advisable to seek legal advice from a solicitor or legal professional before initiating a County Court case for personal injury. This is because the legal fees involved in a pursuing a claim may make the claim itself impractical or there simply may not be adequate grounds on which to base a claim.
Proof of personal injury in County Court cases
The burden of proof in any kind of personal injury claim is always on the claimant. They must prove three interlocking claims in order to be successful.
The claimant must first prove that they were not responsible for the injury they have suffered; as a logical extension of this will be the idea that the injury was caused by somebody else.
Secondly, it must then be proved that the defendant was the person who was actually responsible for the injury. The main idea here is to prove that the defendant was acting in a negligent or reckless way when they caused the accident. This is perhaps the most important part of any personal injury County Court Case.
The third thing that must be proved is that the claimant has suffered a measurable decline in their quality of life, whether it be the ability to be fully mobile or the ability to drive on roads, since the accident and the ensuing personal injury. County Court cases are generally about the issue of compensation and personal injury claims are no different.
What compensation can be claimed in a County Court case for personal injury?
The claimant can claim compensation on three basic grounds:
Compensation for the injury – the claimant can claim for the cost of the medical treatment they have had to undergo as a result of the reckless or negligent behaviour of the defendant.
Compensation for loss of earnings – if the claimant has not been able to work and earn a wage since the accident, the defendant can be made to pay this amount in compensation.
Financial expenses – the claimant can try to gain compensation for financial expenses that relate to the injury and the ensuing claim such as ongoing costs of medication, travel expenses and any other direct consequences of the accident.
Personal injury County Court case time limits
It is obviously unfeasible for the claimant to lodge their claim after a decade, as memories of the incident will have long since faded and the injury itself will have healed. It is to avoid situations like this occurring that the general rule is that a County Court case based personal injury claim should be initiated within 3 years of the accident taking place. The standard County Court procedure applies from this point on in the personal injury County Court case that follows the initial claim.